Category Archives: Storm Live Blog

Mid-August Northern Lights – Live Blog Aug 17-20 2022 – Part 1

Northern Lights Now – Occassionally when there is a strong aurora predicted, and we feel there is a good chance for an evolving storm, we’ll start up the live blog! As the storm transpires over the next couple days keep checking back. We will talk about the source of the storm, give updates on it’s progression, and hopefully share some of the photos our followers share with us. If you’d like to have your photo featured please tag NLN on Twitter

Update 3
August 19, 3:45 UTC

Reminent activity from the initial CME impact shock, and the high speed solar winds from the coronal hole have produced intermitent activity over the last 6-9 hours. With Bz variable, there hasn’t been a long duraction aurora event yet. Even with the Bz uncooperative, the strong winds and high proton density in the tail end of the first CME have been enough to produce occasional G1 conditions. Some aurora photographers have gotten lucky and captured a show. If you have a great aurora photo and would like us to share it in the live blog, tag it with #NLNLiveBlog

More recent activity
More recent activity

Update 2
August 18, 09:00 UTC

Fairly quiet since the last update. Solar wind speeds remain high around 575km/s as a result of the Coronal Hole High Speed Stream. Most forcasters are still anticipating the arrival of the next CME. When it arrives, the data on the solar wind page will show a jump in values. Keep an eye on the Bz, if it dives south at that point (negative), we should be in for a good show.

Update 1
August 18, 04:30 UTC

The first round of activity brought a period G2 activity across two three hours periods. The timing of this storm meant that mostly aurora hunters in northern Europe got to see a show. Viewers in North America and Au/NZ will need to wait until later in this storm.

graph shows two period of G2 level aurora activity
First Activity of the Aug 2022 storm brings two periods of G2 storming

Background

A series of Six storms on the surface of the Sun launched solar plasma and other CME material towards earth between August 13 and August 16. As these arrive they will activate the magnetosphere and produce aurora. SWPC is predicting a long period of G1 storming, with chances for KP=7+ over this period.

Three days of G1-G3 storming predicted
Three days of G1-G3 storming predicted

Happy Hunting

Early November 2021 Complex Aurora Live Blog

Northern Lights Now – A complex set of flares and CMEs has set up a period of potential aurora activity on Nov 3rd through 5th. The official forecast is calling for a period of G1 storming late on the third for 6-9 hours, then another period late on the 4th potentially into the 5th. As such, the Aurora liveblog is being activated

NLN Live Blog Update – Thursday, November 4, 02:30 UTC (07:00 EST 11/4)
Live blog time: 19 Hours 00 mins

Wow!

Aurora hunters are being treated to a show with G3 aurora in high latitudes. Every time there is a solar storm expected, there is uncertainty in how it will be oriented when it arrives. This storm arrived with nearly perfect orientation for aurora sightings. As of now, there has been six hours of strong (-10nT) south oriented Bz, 15+ hours of solar wind speeds over 700 km/s, 1+ hours of solar wind speeds over 800 km/s, nearly 15 hours of Bt over 15 nT. With data like that, it isn’t surprising Earth has been experiencing G3 and possibly even G4 conditions.

Strong Bz south for almost the entire 3-hour lookback window
Strong Bz south for almost the entire 3-hour lookback window

The ovation model, which estimates where it’s likely to have active aurora, is showing a wide swath of red across almost all of Canada, Alaska, and Russia. In the southern hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand have been treated to a show. This storm is a worldwide event.

Lots of red on the ovation model - November 4, 2021
Lots of red on the ovation model – November 4, 2021

NLN Live Blog Update – Thursday, November 4, 02:30 UTC (22:30 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 5 Hours 30 mins

Bz has been rolling in and out of south orientation, solar wind speeds have been holding above 750 km/s and the BT has remained strong. This has brought strong sub-storms during the Bz south periods. KP reached 7 (the highest it has been so far this solar cycle) and there have been aurora reports coming in from Maine, Vermont, Eastern Canada, Scotland and more.

KP reaches 7 during the early November storm on Nov 4, 2021
KP reaches 7 during the early November storm on Nov 4, 2021

At the moment, it appears Bz may be rotating back to the south. If this continues aurora hunters could see another round of aurora over the next 2-3 hours. There is also the possibility that we could see another shock arrival in the next 6 hours or so. If this happens we could have an abrupt end to the show, or it could intensify. Most likely, given the strength of the solar wind we are in the main portion of the storm and have less than 12 hours left of this storm.

NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 22:10 UTC (18:10 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 1 Hours 10 mins

The Aurora pictures have started!

NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 21:20 UTC (17:20 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 0 Hours 20 mins

After a momentary outage, Solar wind data is back online. With winds over 700 km/s and Bz strongly south, there is likely already G1 storming occuring

Momentary outage, but solar winds are still strong
Momentary outage, but solar winds are still strong

NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 21:00 UTC (17:00 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 0 Hours 0 mins

The first sign of the CMEs arrival hit DSCOVR at about 19:20 UTC, with a stronger impact around 20:00. Initial readings are showing a strong south Bz component and high solar wind speeds above 650 km/s. This is already an indication that this storm could yield better aurora production that the previous storm from Halloween weekend. This data means it is likely that we will reach G1 storming within about 90 minutes.

First signs of ICME impact around 19:20 UTC Nov 3, 2021
First signs of ICME impact around 19:20 UTC Nov 3, 2021

About an hour after the storm starting impacting, a glitch and set of errors has made DSCOVR blind to the solar wind. Aurora hunters will need to fall back on ACE as a source for data until DSCOVR comes back on line.

Halloween Aurora 2021 – Live Blog – Day 2

Northern Lights Now – Thank you for visiting the Aurora live blog for the 2021 Halloween Aurora. Check back frequently as there are new updates for the current storm. This is the second day of the live blog. Find the previous day here

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NLN Live Blog Update – Saturday, October 31, 12:30 UTC (08:30 EST 10/31)
Live blog time: 14 Hours 15 mins

The CME arrived overnight while many on the East Coast US and Europe were asleep at about 09:30 GMT. The timing should be good for aurora hunters in Australia and New Zealand, Russia and possible northern Europe. When it arrived, the orientation was right for Aurora with a period of Bz North.

The CME arrived at about 09:30 GMT and was oriented with Bz South
The CME arrived at about 09:30 GMT and was oriented with Bz South

Given the data, Aurora Hunters should expect the KP to slowly increase. It is currently in the KP=4 range. If Bz stays negative, there should be G1 level storming soon.

NLN Live Blog Update – Saturday, October 31, 02:30 UTC (00:30 EST 10/31)
Live blog time: 6 Hours 15 mins

Happy Halloween to our EST hunters! The expected solar storm has not arrived yet. Solar wind data looks completely nominal. In fact, if you looked at only the solar wind data with 400 km/s and pretty flat data for Proton density, Bt and Bz over the last hour, you’d have no idea there was the potential for a storm.

Nominal data in the last hour at DSCOVR
Nominal data in the last hour at DSCOVR

But don’t give up yet. A quick peak at the EPAM at ACE shows that readings are still increasing. This often happens in advance of the arrival of a ICME shock. Note that they have been slowly rising since the X-class flare on the 29th. This isn’t over yet!